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North Korea Official Speaks Out On Whether Ukraine Would've Been Attacked If It Had Nuclear Weapons

North Korea Official Speaks Out On Whether Ukraine Would've Been Attacked If It Had Nuclear Weapons

Four days into the invasion, Vladimir Putin put Russia's nuclear deterrence forces on high alert.

A North Korean official has explained whether Ukraine would have still been attacked if the country stored nuclear weapons.

Today, March 10, marks the 15th day of Russian president Vladimir Putin's invasion in Ukraine. An estimated 2.2 million refugees have fled the country since the start of the 'special military operation', with a reported 1,335 civilian casualties, including 474 killed and 861 injured.

Four days into the invasion, amid the West's sanction-heavy response, Putin ordered his military to put Russia’s nuclear deterrence forces on high alert, which the US dubbed a 'totally unacceptable escalation', while Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy described it as a 'bluff'.

Vladimir Putin.

A high-ranking North Korean official believes Putin wouldn't have commenced with the operation in Ukraine if the country stored nuclear weapons, with another believing the weaponry is key to preventing foreign invasions.

'Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, more and more party cadres in North Korea say Pyongyang can never abandon its nuclear weapons,' Daily NK reported.

'North Korea is apparently growing more attached to its nuclear arsenal since the crisis in Ukraine. The consensus among high-ranking North Korean cadres is that the Ukraine crisis began when Kyiv abandoned its nuclear arsenal.'

Russia and Ukraine's tensions date back to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, after which Ukraine regained its independence in 1991 and former nations under the USSR signed onto the NATO defensive alliance. 

Putin has found few friends since his invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine once held nuclear weapons, but it gave them up as part of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, ensuring security guarantees from Russia, Britain and the US when it signed the Budapest Memorandum in 1994.

This comes after satellite imagery showed construction at North Korea’s Punggye-ri nuclear testing site for the first time since 2017, with the International Atomic Energy Agency also reporting further work at the Yongbyon nuclear power plant.

It's believed North Korea will use Russia's invasion of Ukraine to bolster their reasoning for refusing to denuclearise.

Lee Yang-goo, the former South Korean ambassador to Ukraine, told NK News, 'North Korea already did not have much willingness to denuclearise. But looking at the graphic scenes coming out of Ukraine, Pyongyang will further solidify their internal and external justification for possessing nuclear weapons.'

Only Belarus, North Korea, Syria, and Eritrea supported Putin's invasion at the UN.

'Now, after this crisis, it will be difficult for any country to make a denuclearisation pitch to North Korea. North Koreans think that nuclear weapons are the absolute saviour of the country.'

Amid sanctions from the UK, US, EU and more, including a surprising call for restraint from China, North Korea's foreign ministry also released a statement on the conflict. 'The root cause of the Ukraine crisis totally lies in the hegemonic policy of the US and the West, which enforce themselves in high-handedness and abuse of power against other countries' it wrote.

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: World News, Ukraine, Russia, North Korea